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What Will He Do with It? — Volume 04

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155 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook What Will He Do With It, by Lytton, V4 #90 in our series by Edward Bulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: What Will He Do With It, Book 4.Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7662] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on April 1, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT, V4 ***This eBook was produced by David Widger, widger@cecomet.netBOOK IV.CHAPTER I.In the kindliest natures there is a certain sensitiveness, which, when wounded, occasions the same pain,and bequeaths the ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook What Will He DoWith It, by Lytton, V4 #90 in our series by EdwardBulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****Title: What Will He Do With It, Book 4.
Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7662] [Yes,we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on April 1, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT, V4*** This eBook was produced by David Widger,widger@cecomet.netBOOK IV.CHAPTER I.In the kindliest natures there is a certainsensitiveness, which, when wounded,
occasions the same pain, and bequeaths thesame resentment, as mortified vanity orgalled self-love.It is exactly that day week, towards the hour of fivein the evening, Mr. Hartopp, alone in the parlourbehind his warehouse, is locking up his books andledgers preparatory to the return to his villa. Thereis a certain change in the expression of hiscountenance since we saw it last. If it be possiblefor Mr. Hartopp to look sullen,—sullen he looks; if itbe possible for the Mayor of Gatesboro' to becrestfallen, crestfallen he is. That smooth existencehas surely received some fatal concussion, andhas not yet recovered the shock. But if you willglance beyond the parlour at Mr. Williams givingorders in the warehouse, at the warehousementhemselves, at the rough faces in the tan-yard,-nay, at Mike Callaghan, who has just brought aparcel from the railway, all of them have evidentlyshared in the effects of the concussion; all of themwear a look more or less sullen; all seemcrestfallen. Could you carry your gaze farther on,could you peep into the shops in the High Street,or at the loungers in the city reading-room; couldyou extend the vision farther still,—to Mr.Hartopp's villa, behold his wife, his little ones, hismen-servants, and his maid-servants, more andmore impressively general would become thetokens of disturbance occasioned by that infamousconcussion. Everywhere a sullen look,—everywhere that ineffable aspect ofcrestfallenness! What can have happened? is thegood man bankrupt? No, rich as ever! What can it
be? Reader! that fatal event which they who loveJosiah Hartopp are ever at watch to prevent,despite all their vigilance, has occurred! JosiahHartopp has been TAKEN IN! Other men may beoccasionally taken in, and no one mourns; perhapsthey deserve it! they are not especially benevolent,or they set up to be specially wise. But to take inthat lamb! And it was not only the Mayor's heartthat was wounded, but his pride, his self- esteem,his sense of dignity, were terribly humiliated. For aswe know, though all the world considered Mr.Hartopp the very man born to be taken in, andtherefore combined to protect him, yet in his secretsoul Mr. Hartopp considered that no man lessneeded such protection; that he was never takenin, unless he meant to be so. Thus the cruelty andingratitude of the base action under which his crestwas so fallen jarred on his whole system. Nay,more, he could not but feel that the event wouldlong affect his personal comfort and independence;he would be more than ever under the affectionatetyranny of Mr. Williams, more than ever be anobject of universal surveillance and espionage.There would be one thought paramount throughoutGatesboro'. "The Mayor, God bless him! has beentaken in: this must not occur again, or Gatesboro'is dishonoured, and Virtue indeed a name!" Mr.Hartopp felt not only mortified but subjugated,hewho had hitherto been the soft subjugator of thehardest. He felt not only subjugated, but indignantat the consciousness of being so. He was toomeekly convinced of Heaven's unerring justice notto feel assured that the man who had taken him inwould come to a tragic end. He would not have
hung that man with his own hands: he was too mildfor vengeance. But if he had seen that manhanging he would have said piously, "Fittingretribution," and passed on his way soothed andcomforted. Taken in!—taken in at last!—he, JosiahHartopp, taken in by a fellow with one eye!
CHAPTER II.The Mayor is so protected that be cannot helphimself.A commotion without,—a kind of howl, a kind ofhoot. Mr. Williams, the warehousemen, thetanners, Mike Callaghan, share between them thehowl and the hoot. The Mayor started: is itpossible! His door is burst open, and, scattering allwho sought to hold him back,—scattering them tothe right and left from his massive torso in rushedthe man who had taken in the Mayor,—the fellowwith one eye, and with that fellow, shaggy andtravel-soiled, the other dog!"What have you done with the charge I intrusted toyou? My child! my child! where is she?"Waife's face was wild with the agony of hisemotions, and his voice was so sharply terrible thatit went like a knife into the heart of the men, who,thrust aside for the moment, now followed him,fearful, into the room."Mr.—Mr. Chapman, sir," faltered the Mayor,striving hard to recover dignity and self-possession,"I am astonished at your—your—""Audacity!" interposed Mr. Williams."My child! my Sophy! my child! answer me, man!""Sir," said the Mayor, drawing himself up, "have
you not got the note which I left at my bailiff'scottage in case you called there?""Your note! this thing!" said Waife, striking acrumpled paper with his hand, and running his eyeover its contents. "You have rendered up, you say,the child to her lawful protector? Graciousheavens! did I trust her to you, or not?""Leave the room all of you," said the Mayor, with asudden return of his usual calm vigour."You go,—you, sirs; what the deuce do you dohere?" growled Williams to the meaner throng."Out! I stay, never fear, men, I'll take care of him!"The bystanders surlily slunk off: but none returnedto their work; they stood within reach of call by theshut door. Williams tucked up his coat-sleeves,clenched his fists, hung his head doggedly on oneside, and looked altogether so pugnacious andminatory that Sir Isaac, who, though in a state ofgreat excitement, had hitherto retained self-control,peered at him under his curls, stiffened his back,showed his teeth, and growled formidably."My good Williams, leave us," said the Mayor; "Iwould be alone with this person.""Alone,—you! out of the question. Now you havebeen once taken in, and you own it,—it is my dutyto protect you henceforth; and I will to the end ofmy days."The Mayor sighed heavily. "Well, Williams, well!—
take a chair, and be quiet. Now, Mr. Chapman, soto call you still; you have deceived me.""I? how?"The Mayor was puzzled. "Deceived me," he said atlast, "in my knowledge of human nature. I thoughtyou an honest man, sir. And you are—but nomatter."WAIFE (impatiently).—"My child! my child! youhave given her up to— to—"MAYOR.—"Her own father, sir."WAIFE (echoing the words as he staggers back).—I thought so! I thought it!""MAYOR.—"In so doing I obeyed the law: he hadlegal power to enforce his demand." The Mayor'svoice was almost apologetic in its tone; for he wasaffected by Waife's anguish, and not able tosilence a pang of remorse. After all, he had beentrusted; and he had, excusably perhaps,necessarily perhaps, but still he had failed to fulfilthe trust. "But," added the Mayor, as if reassuringhimself, "but I refused at first to give her up evento her own father; at first insisted upon waiting tillyour return; and it was only when I was informedwhat you yourself were that my scruples gaveWay."Waife remained long silent, breathing very hard,passing his hand several times over his forehead;at last he said more quietly than he had yet
spoken, "Will you tell me where they have gone?""I do not know; and, if I did know, I would not tellyou! Are they not right when they say that thatinnocent child should not be tempted away by—by—a—in short by you, sir?""They said! Her father—said that!—he said that!—Did he—did he say it? Had he the heart?"MAYOR.—"No, I don't think he said it. Eh, Mr.Williams? He spoke little to me!"MR. WILLIAMS.—"Of course he would not exposethat person. But the woman,—the lady, I mean."WAIFE.—"Woman! Ah, yes. The bailiff's wife saidthere was a woman.What woman? What's her name?"MAYOR.—"Really you must excuse me. I can sayno more. I have consented to see you thus,because whatever you might have been, or maybe, still it was due to myself to explain how I cameto give up the child; and, besides, you left moneywith me, and that, at least, I can give to your ownhand."The Mayor turned to his desk, unlocked it, anddrew forth the bag whichWaife had sent to him.As he extended it towards the Comedian, his handtrembled, and his cheek flushed. For Waife's onebright eye had in it such depth of reproach, that
again the Mayor's conscience was sorely troubled;and he would have given ten times the contents ofthat bag to have been alone with the vagrant, andto have said the soothing things he did not dare tosay before Williams, who sat there mute and grim,guarding him from being once more "taken in." "Ifyou had confided in me at first, Mr. Chapman," hesaid, pathetically, "or even if now, I could aid you inan honest way of life!""Aid him—now!" said Williams, with a snort. "At itagain! you're not a man: you're an angel!""But if he is penitent, Williams.""So! so! so!" murmured Waife. "Thank Heaven itwas not he who spoke against me: it was but astrange woman. Oh!" he suddenly broke off with agroan. "Oh—but that strange woman,—who, whatcan she be? and Sophy with her and him.Distraction! Yes, yes, I take the money. I shallwant it all. Sir Isaac, pick up that bag. Gentlemen,good day to you!" He bowed; such a failure thatbow! Nothing ducal in it! bowed and turned towardsthe door; then, when he gained the threshold, as ifsome meeker, holier thought restored to himdignity of bearing, his form rose, though his facesoftened, and stretching his right hand towards theMayor, he said, "You did but as all perhaps wouldhave done on the evidence before you. You meantto be kind to her.""If you knew all, how you would repent! I do notblame,—I forgive you."
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